The global gaming industry is big and the South African market only makes up a small proportion of it but the local market is certainly growing. A recent statement from online retailer Kalahari.com has put the value of South Africa’s gaming industry at R1.7 billion for 2011, a number that has been steadily increasing.
Kalahari.com’s category manager for games Ramone Pickover has said, “The local industry has grown compared to the US which declined by 8% in 2011. The US gaming industry accounts for more than 60 % of the total gaming industry worldwide.”
“The gaming industry in South Africa has changed quite dramatically. Two years ago, the key drivers in the industry were casual games. With the announcement of the Wii U being launched at the end of 2012, and the lack of new PS2 content, South African gamers began to move to PS3, Xbox and PC considered to be tailored towards the ‘hardcore’ gaming marketing”
Gamers in SA are estimated to number around 3.5 million players and, with the shift from casual to hardcore gaming on the up, more and more players are venturing online.
“There has also been a large increase in competitive gaming leagues in South Africa, operating on the same level as our local sport teams/leagues with organised tournaments and competitions, where we compete against other countries. Further displaying how the gaming culture has grown in South Africa”, Pickover said.
Pickover also said that the need for high-speed internet access to participate in online gaming is driving “…the demand for cheaper, unlimited broadband access in SA.”